1 Corinthians 14

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“So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV)

August 21, 2016

Paul called on the Corinthians to pursue and exercise spiritual gifts that would edify the other members of the church. Apparently, many were striving for gifts that only edified the individual who exercised them. Specifically, Paul named speaking in tongues without an interpretation as an example of a wrong use of spiritual gifting, because it did not build up the hearer. A timeless principle may be understood in this–– that spiritual gifts are to be used to build up the body of Christ, not for self-edification.

“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV)

August 22, 2015

Apparently, the worship services in Corinth had become quite chaotic and confusing. This was not the pattern that Paul had given them when he planted the church. So, his letters to them are prescriptive in nature. He wanted them to understand that when God is present in worship there is order and peace, not chaos and confusion. Perhaps the ecstatic pagan practices of the Corinthian idolaters had infected the church. Or perhaps the disunity he described earlier concerning factions in the church had led to these tumultuous services. Whatever the cause, the church of Corinth, in a city of 800,000 population, was in danger of losing God’s presence in their worship. For wherever the Spirit of God is, there is peace.